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Georg Cohn * 1887
Lüneburger Straße 44 (Harburg, Harburg)
Georg Cohn, born 11 June 1887 in Genthin, Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp, deported 29 Apr. 1943 to Auschwitz, died 14 Sep. 1943
Lüneburger Straße 44, Harburg-Altstadt
Georg Cohn was married to Emma Albrecht, who was not Jewish. They had four children: Lizzie (*22 Oct. 1908), Georg (*6 Dec. 1909), Betty (*26 Feb. 1911), and Hans (*14 July 1912). All four were christened at the Lutheran Dreifaltigkeitskirche (Church of the Trinity) on Neue Straße on 2 March 1920. In 1933, Georg Cohn opened a men’s clothing store on Lüneburger Straße. The family lived in the same building in an elegantly furnished eight-room apartment (today: Lüneburger Straße 44).
He was among the approximately 30,000 male, predominantly wealthy Jews who were arrested in the wake of the November Pogrom in 1938. He was held for four weeks in the Fuhlsbüttel prison and the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. When he returned, browbeaten and humiliated, his business no longer existed. A government trustee was in the process of liquidating it.
After the loss of his livelihood, he had no choice but to give up the large apartment in Harburg. He, his wife, and the two children who were still living with them moved to a smaller apartment at Rappstraße 15 in the Grindel Quarter in Hamburg. They had to sell a large part of their household goods at prices far under the market value. In the new neighborhood he tried to remain as inconspicuous as possible and, after his experiences in the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, to avoid any contact with the Gestapo.
Although Jewish men and women in existing "mixed marriages” were protected from the deportations in 1941 and 1942, they had gradually been conscripted to forced labor in 1938-39, and then en masse beginning in 1940-41. Georg Cohn was among those conscripted. Willibald Schallert, the head of the "Special Unit J” at the Hamburg Employment Agency, assigned him as a forced laborer to a construction company. Cohn also volunteered at the Hamburg office of the Reich Association of Jews.
In February 1943, he and 16 other Jewish men were arrested in the Fabrikaktion (Operation Factory). Most of these men lived in a "privileged mixed marriage.” The arrests were based on a list of names made by Willibald Schallert and titled "Jewish Sabotage in the Workplace,” at the behest of SS-Hauptsturmführer and head of the Hamburg Gestapo’s "Jew Desk” Claus Göttsche. Neither the men themselves nor their families were informed of what they had been accused of, even after numerous inquiries.
Georg Cohn spent the next weeks in the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp, and was transferred from there to Auschwitz on 22 April 1943. Here, his days were numbered. His life ended on 14 September 1943. Neither he nor his family ever learned the exact reasons behind his deportation and death.
Translator(s): Amy Lee
Translation kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg
© Klaus Möller
Quellen: 4; 5; 8; StaH, 351-11, 5323; StaH, 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen 6370/53; Meyer, Verfolgung, S. 84ff; dies. "Jüdische Mischlinge", S. 57ff; schriftliche Mitteilung der Gedenkstätte und des Museums Sachsenhausen vom 3.3.2011.
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